Five Common Misconceptions About Vintage Fashion

Five Misconceptions About Vintage Fashion

Some people are born into the world of vintage fashion, some people grow to love it. Others don’t even know what vintage actually means (clothes that are older than 20 years old are vintage. Therefore today’s youngest “vintage” is now from 1994...Eeek).   Vintage fashion isn’t just for an elite few in Los Angeles or New York who are cool and savvy enough to locate and style it. These old treasures can be worn by every woman. 

Here are our top five vintage misconceptions. 

Fiction: Vintage clothes are unstylish and outdated 

Fact: No way! Ever heard of the old saying, “history has a way of repeating itself”? Same is true for fashion. To understand vintage styles, is to know current trends. The floral Prada dress from the 2014 resort collection has similar lines and flow to classic, 1940s styles. Practically every current fashion designer curates a vintage archive for inspiration. Some fashion is so timeless, it never really goes out of style (see the iconic 1970s DVF dress- the one you have a current version in your closet of).

That iconic DVF dress from 1976 still looks totally chic and modern now

That iconic DVF dress from 1976 still looks totally chic and modern now

Fiction: Items that are vintage will “break” or fall apart.  

Fact: As I often explain to shoppers at Frisk, if that 1930s deco bracelet hasn’t broken since...well...1930, it’s unlikely to break now (unless of course, you have too many cocktails and break it). Of course, some delicate, super antique clothing items might, but if you look at the seams and check for random snags/holes it shouldn’t fall apart. Vintage items have withstood the test of time because of their quality. We live in a “wear once and chuck it” culture, but these pieces were produced in small quantities with high quality elements. 

These vintage baubles seen on Veruschka would look totally modern now 

These vintage baubles seen on Veruschka would look totally modern now 

Fiction: Vintage is too small/large/won’t fit

Fact: Yes, sizing can tend to go out the window with vintage. I’ve long swallowed my pride about fitting in to a size 12 vintage when I’m a size 4 normally (and by “4 normally” I mean 6). Fabric was cut differently at the time, particularly in the 1950s. Sure, Marilyn Monroe may have been a size 12-16, but in actuality she was 5’5” and 118 lbs (yes, she did have a bra size of 36 D). This is a far cry from a modern day 16. In vintage you either have to try it on, or carefully go by the measurements if you’re purchasing it online. 

The Olsen twins wear vintage on the regs, and always make it look modern and chic

The Olsen twins wear vintage on the regs, and always make it look modern and chic

Fiction: Vintage is great...If you’re going to a costume party

Fact: This nods back to the costume party. Sure, some vintage is very bold. Sure, some is bit out there. But, the majority of vintage items can be styled to look modern and chic. Success of pulling off vintage, however, comes down to styling. You don’t want to look like you walked out of 1978, so make your hair, makeup and accessory choices modern.  Designer vintage pieces (like Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, etc) will always looks timeless. And now that the grunge period is considered vintage, these minimalist looks work on even those who love the plainest looks. It’s a little known fact: Whenever we wear vintage, we get the most compliments. Ever. 

A simple shift dress from the 60s is a shape that has endured for years. 

A simple shift dress from the 60s is a shape that has endured for years. 

Fiction: Someone else wore that? It’s unsanitary!

Fact: Avoiding germs is my favorite hobby. I’m currently trying to make the elbow bump trend instead of the handshake (it’s not catching on). Yes, vintage has been worn by someone else. A million years ago. That’s what the washer and dryer is for. Unless something is super delicate fabric that will shred, I usually throw vintage on the fast cycle, then into the dryer on a normal heat, which kills everything. I see nothing worse about vintage than shopping at the place like Nordstrom Rack or Century 21 where literally every item has been tried on by 1,000 people. 

1970s Marianne Faithful and Anita Pallenberg wearing boho styles you'll see now. 

1970s Marianne Faithful and Anita Pallenberg wearing boho styles you'll see now. 

Love vintage? Did we leave something out? Comment below and let us know your thoughts!